Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Charley's War Bookplates  (Read 2198 times)

The Amstor Computer

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6425
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #15 on: 29 March, 2018, 09:16:53 am »
The "bookplate" editions come with a numbered (often signed, in this case by Pat Mills) bookplate which you then stick in the front of the book. It's a neat little way of personalising the book.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13086
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #16 on: 04 April, 2018, 10:14:01 am »
For those of us for whom size does indeed matter I asked the question via Facedabookie and was told the books are

27.5cm by 21cm, which I think is pretty much the size of the original comics? Anyway probably big enough to satisfy me.

ManParrish

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #17 on: 28 April, 2018, 01:20:25 pm »
Has anyone brought the 1st of these "definitive editions", and are they worth double dipping if you already have the hardcover collection?
Cheers

Southstreeter

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #18 on: 29 April, 2018, 07:29:25 pm »
Has anyone brought the 1st of these "definitive editions", and are they worth double dipping if you already have the hardcover collection?
Cheers
I’ve got vol 1 - it looks great! Slightly larger than the normal paperbacks, colour pages reproduced, commentary by Pat on each story. Don’t know if I’d double dip, but as this is meant to be definitive, I’d have been tempted even if I had the hardbacks.

CalHab

  • Member
  • Sentient Tea Bot
  • **
  • Posts: 454
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #19 on: 30 April, 2018, 11:39:09 am »
The first volume is beautiful. It's very well scanned printed and the replacement of the original lettering is a vast improvement over the Titan editions.

My only criticism is that I would probably have paid a bit extra for a hardback edition, but there's nothing wrong with the way this edition is bound.

glassstanley

  • Member
  • Sentient Tea Bot
  • **
  • Posts: 417
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #20 on: 30 April, 2018, 06:02:08 pm »
It is a very good repro. The new letter balloons cover more of the image although the lettering itself doesn’t seem to be much larger. I can see it looks better for a new reader but it does feel odd when you’re familiar with the original. The colour pages are in colour but I’m not convinced the coloured are original - there’s something about it that feels like a recolourisation. If it is it’s an authentic one though.

I’ll be keeping my hardbacks but will buy a set of the reprints for my (Primary)school’s library.

Jim_Campbell

  • 2000AD Creator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12240
  • Letterer to the Stars! (and PJ)
    • View Profile
    • deviantArt Gallery
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #21 on: 30 April, 2018, 06:37:36 pm »
The new letter balloons cover more of the image although the lettering itself doesn’t seem to be much larger. I can see it looks better for a new reader but it does feel odd when you’re familiar with the original.

I don’t think they do, for the most part.

The size of the text was matched to that of the John Aldrich hand-lettering for that part of the book. The balloons were more-or-less lined up with the old ones, but a lot of the new ones didn’t completely cover the originals (ie: they were smaller than the existing ones) and I had to white out any of the old lettering that showed around the edges and create new linework to fill in the space.

One of the approaches we tried and rejected was simply making balloons that completely covered the old ones, but we rejected this because the text size was fixed and made the balloons much too ‘airy’, and precisely because it covered up more of the art. We also tried dropping new lettering into the existing balloons, but decided against it because it looked awful.

Quote
The colour pages are in colour but I’m not convinced the coloured are original - there’s something about it that feels like a recolourisation. If it is it’s an authentic one though.

I’m pretty sure that’s just an artefact of printing colours that were intended for newsprint on much better paper.
Eagle Award Nominated Letterer: Samples. | Blog
Less-Awesome-Artist: Scribbles.

Jim_Campbell

  • 2000AD Creator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12240
  • Letterer to the Stars! (and PJ)
    • View Profile
    • deviantArt Gallery
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #22 on: 30 April, 2018, 06:54:55 pm »
One of the approaches we tried and rejected was simply making balloons that completely covered the old ones, but we rejected this because the text size was fixed and made the balloons much too ‘airy’, and precisely because it covered up more of the art. We also tried dropping new lettering into the existing balloons, but decided against it because it looked awful.

In case anyone's interested, here are the very tests we did…

New balloons that were sufficiently large to completely cover the old ones:



New text dropped into the existing balloons:



Custom balloons with the art retouched:



We now return you to your scheduled programme.
Eagle Award Nominated Letterer: Samples. | Blog
Less-Awesome-Artist: Scribbles.

The Amstor Computer

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6425
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #23 on: 30 April, 2018, 07:32:33 pm »
Great stuff, Jim - thanks for sharing those. It looks like an evolution of your approach on the Hookjaw Strip reprint, and it works very well here. Glad to see Rebellion/you went the extra mile on this, though I suspect it just wouldn't be viable on some lower-profile reprints with machine lettering - Charley's War strikes me as a bit of a perennial seller, and it has a particularly high profile in this particular year, so the extra time and expense involved in re-lettering would be justifiable.

re: colours. I've done a fair bit of experimenting with restoring scanned colour pages. On one project, I took the colour pages, stripped down to the linework and recoloured from scratch with colours that matched the original printed comic. On others, I've worked on restoring the colours already there. Both approaches have their issues, IMO:

-- Recolouring scanned art. You have to be fortunate enough with this to have a couple of things - a good-quality source with a clean original print, and an artist with reasonably strong linework. With that, I would scan at high-resolution, convert to CMYK and pull out the K channel to give me what is essentially a page of inks. Cleaning those up will give a reasonably good base for recolouring, which would follow the typical computer colouring process (whichever one you particularly use). Unfortunately, what you normally have is a poor-quality source - misaligned printing plates causing artifacts, bleed-through etc. - and when you pull out the K channel you discover half of the linework is actually on C, or the linework is patchy in general. Then you have a lot of reconstruction to do, which is painstaking and frustrating, before you can even think about recolouring. On top of that, I found that even the closest approximation didn't look quite right for reasons which I'll get to in a minute.

-- The alternative is to scan and clean up the page as is, with the existing colours. Again, if you get a fantastic source - flat, clean, decent original print - this should be relatively straightforward. However, most extant available comic copies are damaged, worn, aged or have original printing artifacts. With this approach, the most common issue I find is patchy colour or misaligned printing. With the first approach, you can do some correction for misalignment (or you can dodge the misalignment issue entirely if you're lucky) but with this, it's far harder to deal with. Patchy colours can be corrected by use of various tools - cloning/healing brushes in PS don't work brilliantly for me, as they tend to "muddy" the process dots in a way I find quite noticeable on the finished piece, so I often resort to simply cutting and pasting patches of colour and carefully blending around the edges to cover up things like staple holes, paper damage, poor ink distribution etc. Again, quite time-consuming.

At the end of the above, you can get a clean page with relatively accurate colour reproduction, but I always find the colours end up looking slightly off. Often, they end up a little over-bright/over-saturated as you compensate for the washing-out effect of clean-up (and I've seen some that just look plain washed-out compared to the original).

I've gone back and forth on this quite a bit, but I've started to come down on the side of people who have restored US comics of an earlier vintage: the colours were picked by artists who knew the process and were anticipating that their work was going to be printed on newsprint, and if you're wanting to get as close as possible to the "genuine" look you have to consider either printing on a suitable stock or you have to consider something like using a filtering layer on the restored art (which seems crazy and counter-intuitive!) I'm unsure of which option would be best, though I've seen some good examples of both, and to be honest, I'm unsure of whether it would even be received well by the intended audience - would they appreciate the extra lengths taken, or would they turn their noses up at this kind of restoration? I think most modern readers are conditioned to see clean, white (often glossy) stock as "correct" and uncoated, cream paper (or a flat, cream newsprint filter) would look wrong to them.
 

Woolly

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3898
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #24 on: 30 April, 2018, 07:34:24 pm »
Call me a heathen, but I think I prefer the text dropped into the original balloons....  :-X

Jim_Campbell

  • 2000AD Creator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12240
  • Letterer to the Stars! (and PJ)
    • View Profile
    • deviantArt Gallery
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #25 on: 30 April, 2018, 07:50:57 pm »
Call me a heathen, but I think I prefer the text dropped into the original balloons....  :-X

Would have made my life a lot easier, but they didn't sit well side-by-side with the pages that Aldrich re-lettered (some of which were in the same episode).
Eagle Award Nominated Letterer: Samples. | Blog
Less-Awesome-Artist: Scribbles.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13086
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #26 on: 30 April, 2018, 08:00:52 pm »
Wow that's really interesting Jim thanks for sharing.

Based on that page alone I'm glad you went for the slog. I think the dropping texted on exisiting balloons exposes how wonky the original balloons were. I don't mind if you have to work harder for our entertainment!

broodblik

  • Member
  • Page Numbering Droid
  • **
  • Posts: 223
    • View Profile
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #27 on: 30 April, 2018, 08:14:05 pm »
Thanks for the detailed feedback. I really enjoyed the new version and will certainly get the rest as well.

Bolt-01

  • Global Moderator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 10312
  • It ain't called ZARJAZ fer nuthin'!
    • View Profile
    • FutureQuake Press
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #28 on: 01 May, 2018, 11:35:14 am »
I've been lucky enough to see quite a few of the pages as Jim was working with them- There really is a lot of work done in there.

Jim_Campbell

  • 2000AD Creator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12240
  • Letterer to the Stars! (and PJ)
    • View Profile
    • deviantArt Gallery
Re: Charley's War Bookplates
« Reply #29 on: 01 May, 2018, 12:32:38 pm »
I've been lucky enough to see quite a few of the pages as Jim was working with them- There really is a lot of work done in there.

That's been very remiss of me. The indefatigable Bolt-01's contribution of an extra pair of eyes to spot my fuck-ups was absolutely invaluable during a fairly nerve-wracking process. Many thanks, Bolt!
Eagle Award Nominated Letterer: Samples. | Blog
Less-Awesome-Artist: Scribbles.